Earlier today Republicans revealed they’re planning on ramming through so-called “right to work” (also known as wage theft) legislation to lower wages and weaken private sector unions in Wisconsin. In order to ram through their attempt to weaken private sector unions and drive down wages, Republicans will call an extraordinary session of the legislature.

Reached for comment after Republicans announced their plans, Gov. Scott Walker indicated he would sign the Republican legislation to weaken private sector unions and drive down wages.

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker will sign a right-to-work bill that’s being rushed through the Legislature next week.

Walker’s spokeswoman Laurel Patrick issued a statement Friday saying that if the bill passes, Walker will sign it.

Republican Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald announced, in a surprise move Friday, that the Legislature would be calling itself into an extraordinary session to take up the issue next week.

You may recall that just two months ago, Gov. Walker said efforts to drive down wages and weaken private sector unions were not a priority, so it’s curious that he now supports the extraordinary efforts being undertaken by the Republican rubber stamp legislature to push the effort through.

Governor Scott Walker’s office re-affirmed its stance on a right-to-work law Monday — saying it’s not a priority, but not saying if he would sign the bill if the Legislature passes it.

And keep in mind Gov. Walker’s promise to sign the wage theft bill being pushed through the legislature by Republicans comes after Gov. Walker promised in 2012 that so-called “right to work” legislation would never reach his desk.

It’s amazing what a burgeoning presidential campaign will do to further expose a career politician as nothing more than a self-absorbed serial liar whose primary concern is how legislation will benefit his career in politics – not how it will benefit the voters he was elected to serve.

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27 Responses to Gov. Walker’s lie on Wisconsin “Right To Work” (wage theft) legislation

  1. John Casper says:

    Zach, thanks for great reporting. #toughday

  2. Wisconsin Conservative digest says:

    We need to do this to compete. Taking away peoples right tot work under coercion is wrong.

    • “Taking away peoples right tot work under coercion is wrong.”

      Huh? Can someone translate that? I’m not sure what WCD is trying to say.

    • Carol says:

      Workers vote on whether or not to have a union. They also vote for their leadership. This is democracy in action. It is certainly not coercion. Should you be exempt from paying your taxes and still be able to enefit from police and fire services, among many other? Coercion is government inserting itself in private labor-management contracts.

    • John Casper says:

      WI Con digest,

      it’s the right-to-freeload and no surprise that you support it. Among other disasters in this bill, even after more than fifty % of workers vote to unionize, the workers are still free not to pay their dues. That dilutes how effectively the union can advocate for all workers rights.

      Why are you against majority rule?

  3. Duane12 says:

    Once again, we see Senate leader Scott Fitzgerald betray his conscience and Faith in political subservience to the greed of “unfettered capitalism” as he did with Act10 ignoring Archbishop Listecki’s 2011 letter to the Legislature, “Regarding the Rights of Workers and the Value of Unions.”

    http://www.archmil.org/News/StatementRegardingtheRightsofW.ht

    It seems to me Scott Fitzgerald is either a moral coward, a phony pro-lifer(economic), or whose future services are available to the the highest commercial bidder; perhaps all three.

    Fitzgerald’s apparent hatred and inhumanity directed to the Wisconsin union worker and their families in lock step with Walker brings to mind the revulsion of such a dastardly deed, “I vomit thee out of my mouth.”

    Strong words? Yes, but fitting and timely!

    • John Casper says:

      Duane, thanks very much for the link to Arbp. Listecki’s letter.

    • John Casper says:

      I couldn’t get that link to work, but this one does.

      http://www.archmil.org/News/StatementRegardingtheRightsofW.htm

      • Duane12 says:

        Sorry, I backspaced one letter off the link.

        There is also a lengthy primer available online regarding Catholic social teachings by USCCB and various Popes on workers’ right to form and join unions dating back to 1891 which was compiled in PDF form by the Department of Justice if you wish to review.

        It may be a source for a sermon by the Senate leader’s pastor to remind Fitzgerald that conscience precedes politics and that Walker’s appointment of Fitzgerald’s father to head the State Patrol should not obligate the Senate leader to help Walker’s abortion of unions and workers’ rights.

        Walker’s discrimination of union workers is immoral and Fitzgerald’s participation is equally immoral. In a sense,it is a crime against humanity IMO.

  4. Randy Cooper says:

    Serial liar says it all.

  5. Conslayer says:

    With this signed into law every democrat from there on out should viciously hold RWNJ to their ideology. Gone are the yoonion thug teachers. Ditto for the private sector yoonions. No more f*n excuses. These RWNJ are still blaming teachers unions for all the ills. WTF are the democrats!!!?!?!?!

  6. MaseMan says:

    No protests this time, please. Just let this garbage pass (there’s no stopping it), then hold the GOP accountable and criticize them loudly for every failure at every turn.

  7. John Casper says:

    I really respect @illusorytenant on Twitter. He’s an attorney and here are his recent Tweets on the new right-to-freeload legislation.

    Running your business with organized labor is the equivalent of fourth degree sexual assault, according to the revised Wisconsin Statutes

    ‘My business is a union shop and so if you want to work here, you’ll have to join the union.’ — Weirdest Class A misdemeanor ever

    Violation of said prohibition = up to nine months in jail and $10K fine

    Try organizing a union, go to jail in Wisconsin

    Get the government off my back but *criminalize* union organizing?

    What happened to the free market?

    Criminalizing union organizing, that’s a bit much isn’t it?

    Wisconsin makes union organizing a Class A misdemeanor http://www.thewheelerreport.com/wheeler_docs/files/lrb0956.pdf

  8. Conslayer says:

    Yes Steve. So now will you STFU about unions and their corruption you fascist?

  9. John Casper says:

    trademark wrote: “”Anything else you need explaining? Just ask I’m here to help.

    Yeah. How’s Gov. Walker coming on his pledge to create 250,000 new jobs?

    “GRAPH: As Union Membership Has Declined, Income Inequality Has Skyrocketed In The United States”

    http://thinkprogress.org/politics/2011/03/03/147994/unions-income-inequality/

    trademark, other than Wall Street, who doesn’t actually make anything (they just mostly sit around collecting rent, subsidy and interest pass themselves off as “wealth creators), the only folks who make any money bargain collectively? Physicians, lawyers, engineers, tenured professors, anyone who uses credentialing to put a floor underneath their wages is bargaining collectively.

    • John Casper says:

      1. trademark wrote: “I see you agree the premise of this post is false, and a lie. But thank you for finally admitting this blog is propaganda.”

      Please put down the crack pipe. The premise of Zach’s post is true. The dribble you spill doesn’t rise to the level of propaganda.

      Your premise on unions contradicts any notion of a “free market.” You want “capital” to be “free,” to move internationally. You want the “freedom,” to buy products from foreign workers. But, you don’t want the 99% (who can’t live on their trust funds) labor to be “free” to bargain collectively. Slaves work for food and shelter and that’s evidently what you want. Say goodbye to the auto industry. “The Next Tire to Drop on the US Economy”

      http://wolfstreet.com/2014/01/16/the-next-tire-to-drop-on-the-us-economy-2/

      CAPITALISM RUNS ON SALES!

      Business waits to hire until they have CUSTOMERS.

      Say goodbye to the value of homes.

      You and Gov. Walker are tip-of-the-spear in pushing us further down this deflationary spiral.

      You and I agree about the the employer and employee mandates in Obamacare. They’re unconstitutional. Government is using the IRS to FORCE Americans to buy LOUSY coverage from the health insurance oligopoly. By savaging collective bargaining, you are taking any leverage workers have against the elites to refuse to work for a wage benefit package they think is too low.

      2. trademark wrote: “Last I checked the gov. does not hire companies or employees.”

      That might be the single dumbest thing you’ve ever written.

      Have you ever heard of Hewlett Packard? The State of Wisconsin pays them to administer Wisconsin’s Medicaid program. Have you ever heard of JPMorganChase? The federal government hires them to administer food stamps. Have you ever heard of Deloitte http://www2.deloitte.com/us/en.html ? They are one of the big accounting firms that has multiple contracts with the State of Wisconsin. I’m sorry you haven’t been paying attention, but this is the corporate takeover Rand Paul, Ralph Nader, everyone on the right and left has been talking about.

      3. trademark wrote: “It is good to have big goals, every successful leader has them.”

      Answer the question. Where is Gov. Walker on his pledge to create 250,000 new jobs.

      http://www.politifact.com/wisconsin/promises/walk-o-meter/promise/526/create-250000-new-jobs/

      4. trademark wrote: “RTW will make WI much more competitive with other states that already have RTW. Which is now half. It will be another marketing tool to have companies move into the state, especially from Union hell Illinois”

      I’m sorry Gov. Walker hasn’t told you about the Trans-Pacific Partnership that he and President Obama want to “fast track.”

      Gov. Walker’s going to create 250,000 new jobs. They’ll be overseas.

      5. trademark wrote: “The individual with skills”

      What skills?

      Be specific.

      trademark wrote: “to bring to the table”

      What table?

      Who is hiring whatever skills you mentioned above?

      What if the only employer moves 1,000 miles away for more tax breaks. What’s the worker supposed to do?

      6.trademark wrote: “has a lot of power with an employer to bargin for themselves.”

      Explain that.

      7. trademark wrote: “Unless you want to be grouped in with hard workers, and lazy workers combined, then stay in the union.”

      So Ironworkers are lazy? How come the buildings they put up don’t fall down?

      8. trademark wrote: “Again 90% of the workforce has figured this out.”

      Does that include 90% of the folks who lost their homes?

      90% of the workforce is happy with how much they make?

      Please, provide a link to that claim.

      If that’s the case, how come there’s so much student loan debt?

      How come 1/2 the population can’t afford to buy health insurance or can’t do it without slashing spending in other areas?

      9. trademark wrote: How is it possible that incomine inequaity is happing under Obama?

      He’s a pro-choice Republican, just like Reagan.

      10. trademark wrote: “I thought he was the champion of the middle class?”

      You’re incredibly gullible.

      11. trademark wrote: “Walker has not eliminated private unions.”

      Link please.

      Yes, he has.

      12. trademark wrote: “If they prove their worth, then membership will stay.”

      Way to wage war on majority rules. If 50% of the workers vote for the union, under Right-to-freeload, none of the workers have to pay dues. Without dues the union can’t hire accountants from Deloitte and lawyers from top law firms to figure out how the owners are going
      cheat them. The playing field isn’t remotely level.

      13. trademark wrote: Please do not blame him for your poor life decisions.

      I blame Gov. Walker for making war on FREE markets and capitalism. You should too.

      14. trademark wrote: “There is always time for change”

      Again, put down the crack pipe. The final predictor in future earnings is usually whether or not someone goes to college. An earlier marker of how great their future earnings will be is if their parents went to college. Life is short, worker have massive opportunity costs. Retraining takes time and money and in a global economy it’s constant. Gov. Walker wants everyone to learn to weld. “Training partnership teaches welding and life skills” http://www.jsonline.com/business/training-partnership-teaches-welding–and-life-skills-b99444345z1-291959721.html Robots who can spot weld are common and will eliminate a ton of those jobs. “Cheaper robots to replace more factory workers” http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2015/02/10/business/economy-business/cheaper-robots-predicted-to-replace-more-factory-workers-over-coming-decade/#.VOib6nZkpKo

      15. trademark wrote: “if you seak more income.”

      Earth to trademark, everyone wants to make more money.

      16. trademark wrote: “Just don’t expect any more redistribution as that ship has sailed,

      “Penny wise and dollar foolish” doesn’t do justice to your rampaging ignorance. The “redistribution” is all up to the elites.

      “Bank Of America Dumps $75 Trillion In Derivatives On U.S. Taxpayers With Federal Approval”

      http://seekingalpha.com/article/301260-bank-of-america-dumps-75-trillion-in-derivatives-on-u-s-taxpayers-with-federal-approval

      To put $75 trillion in perspective, US GDP in 2012 was around $16.5 trillion. We blew a lot more than the $6 trillion they’re claiming in Iraq and Afghanistan. Social Security’s Trust Fund is around $2.3 trillion. Bank of America is just one Wall Street bank. They all have derivative exposure. I’ve seen estimates of $700 trillion, but I don’t think anyone knows.

      While you and Gov. Walker are blaming Joe and Jane Sixpack, the elites are laughing their @$$eSS off at you. Income inequality is getting worse. Even conservative Republicans are talking about it. “Jeb Bush is the new Elizabeth Warren”

      http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2015/01/09/jeb-bush-is-the-new-elizabeth-warren/

      17. trademark wrote: “the productive tax payer is incharge and has eliminated another one of your scams.”

      You’re funny in a tragic kind of way. The elites don’t pay taxes, those are for the little people. They wrote the tax code and can afford to hire $500/hr tax attorneys. You can’t afford them, so you pay higher taxes. By all means keep buying what Gov. Walker is selling you.

      “GOP Contender Walker Draws Wall Street Cash:
      New York Fundraisers Plan Donor Events for the Wisconsin Governor in the Coming Days”

      http://www.wsj.com/articles/gop-presidential-contender-walker-draws-wall-street-cash-1423783748

    • John Casper says:

      trademark, since you claim to be against “laziness,” would you support a federal job guarantee?

      “…The government could serve as the “employer of last resort” under a job guarantee program modeled on the WPA (the Works Progress Administration, in existence from 1935 to 1943 after being renamed the Work Projects Administration in 1939) and the CCC (Civilian Conservation Corps, 1933-1942). The program would offer a job to any American who was ready and willing to work at the federal minimum wage, plus legislated benefits. No time limits. No means testing. No minimum education or skill requirements….”

      http://ineteconomics.org/blog/institute/plan-all-detroits-out-there

      Over time, economic wealth is ultimately the product of productivity increases. When the wheel was first discovered, it eliminated a lot of jobs, but I bet not many folks complained. Those were hard jobs and the wheel made it easier. Robots can be a huge step forward for the world. At Google a lot of engineers only work 20 to 30 hours a week. The 40 hour work week, which you take for granted didn’t come easy. Unions fought for it. With the advent of robots, we need a right left coalition to look hard at a 30 hour work week. With sufficient productivity increases, wages from that 30-hour work week should be able to buy what a 40-hour work week used to buy, before stagflation hit. If you were a Republican, that’s the way you’d look at it.

      Another opportunity for right left cooperation is bringing back the FULL holiday on BOTH SIDES of the payroll tax (FICA). That would immediately put dollars back in the pockets of wage earners and employers. That’s the most regressive tax on U.S. workers and the one Mitt Romney forgot about when he said most Americans don’t pay federal taxes. What Dems understandably fear is that the GOP will use that to cut Social Security. If you could talk to your buddy Gov. Walker he could do a lot on this issue out on the campaign trail. Don’t cut Social Security, but yes, by all means give U.S. workers relief from the payroll tax.

    • John Casper says:

      trademark, the author of this piece is anti-choice (abortion) and she’s pro-union. “The Death of American Unions Is Killing American Marriage.”

      http://www.newrepublic.com/article/121096/right-work-legislation-impoverishes-working-class-men

    • John Casper says:

      trademark, how do you like your crow?

      “Right to work bill won’t affect police or firefighter unions”

      “Madison — The proposed right to work bill moving quickly through the Legislature will affect only private-sector unions.

      The proposal only affects workers in private businesses, both the language of the bill and comments from Republicans like Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald of Juneau show.

      The measure would prohibit unions and private businesses from reaching contracts that require workers to pay labor dues or fees.

      So police and firefighter unions in the state can still require workers to pay money to unions even if the workers choose not to join. Other public employee unions were previously barred from doing this by Gov. Scott Walker’s 2011 Act 10 law.

      Fitzgerald acknowledged Friday that Republicans have considered taking this step with public safety unions as well but for now at least are not doing so.”

      http://m.jsonline.com/news/blogs/293250891.html

  10. Mike says:

    Look at who is lobbying for this – WMC and the oligarchs behind Americans for Prosperity. It has nothing to do with shoveling more money into their pockets. I’m sure they totally have the workers best interests at heart. Totally.

  11. MaseMan says:

    Nope, they don’t…any you’re just another bitter old neo-con who is cheering on seeing your fellow citizens get hurt. You must feel really good about yourself!

  12. CJ McD says:

    Time for a statewide strike. All sectors.

  13. Man MKE says:

    As a right-to-work opponent pointed out in today’s Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, saying workers who benefit from union contracts should be able to free-ride on those benefits without helping to pay for the cost of obtaining them is equivalent to saying that if you benefit from government programs, you should have the right to option out of paying your fair share of taxes to cover the costs of those programs. Which, frankly, I’m beginning to think Republicans are going to try writing into law, eventually.

  14. Duane12 says:

    Welcome to Walker World or “Lousyconsin” comparable to the worst misogynistic, racist, slave-worker, anti-union, anti- education, conservative state elsewhere.

    But,”We shall overcome…”

  15. Duane12 says:

    “…’efforts to drive down wages and to weaken private sector unions were not a priority…”

    Add one more to Walker’s “liar,liar, pants on fire” statements.

  16. Dan says:

    I have to say I’m surprised and my earlier prediction was way off.

    I guess he figures he has beaten back all the challenges to his policies and he can do what he wants?

    My questions:

    Will this touch off another round of protests similar to those related to Act 10?

    Another recall effort?

    Is he doing this because it makes him more appealing to GOP primary voters?

  17. lufthase says:

    There’s a common thread in a few otherwise unrelated arguments put forth by conservatives lately:
    1) That it’s unfair that workers have to support political activities they may disagree with thru their union dues
    2) That the proposed cuts to the UW are “only 2.5% of the total budget”
    3) That the UW System should just tap into it’s cash reserves to offset the proposed cut

    In each case, they see a giant slush fund where none exists. Union dues cannot be used on political activity; that comes from separate donations over and above dues. The Regents control <40% of the UW "total budget" so that's a misleading way to frame the cuts. Similarly, UW's cash reserves are spread across thousands of accounts and mostly committed to specific purposes like scholarship endowments or planned building; it's not like UW can just go to the bank and withdraw $300M.

    Elected officials making these claims must know this isn't how it works. Are they just counting on Sykes-listeners in the 262 lacking the curiosity or capacity for nuance to figure this out? Insulting your base's intelligence has to be kind of dangerous, no?

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